Online undergraduate programs ranked highest in Iowa

The online undergraduate programs at Upper Iowa University have been ranked highest in Iowa by U.S. News & World Report. UIU’s online bachelor’s program was ranked in the top 30 percent of online bachelor degree programs nationwide.

“UIU is honored that our online programs are continually recognized at the national level,” UIU President William R. Duffy II said. “On behalf of the Board of Trustees and administration, I would like to express our appreciation to the faculty and staff who make such recognition possible through their work each day. UIU has provided online education for nearly two decades, and while attaining an Education Built for Life our graduates routinely achieve career success.”

UIU, a private, nonprofit university founded in 1857, provides undergraduate and graduate degree programs to about 5,800 students worldwide. In addition to a traditional campus in Fayette, Iowa, 25 education centers nationwide, as well as locations in Hong Kong and Malaysia, UIU provides maximum flexibility to undergraduate and graduate students through its online education.

“Whether a traditional college freshman or an adult learner, our award-winning online programming provides all students the opportunity to attend classes that best fit their life’s schedule,” UIU Vice President for Enrollment Management Kathy Franken said. “Some students complete all coursework online, while others combine online classes with a more traditional face-to-face experience through one of our many convenient locations. UIU students truly have a variety of flexible options and great support from helpful and caring staff to attain their educational goals.”

U.S. News believes the Best Online Programs rankings and data are the most comprehensive available to prospective students. The 2018 edition of the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs can help prospective students select schools that are right for them. The vast majority of students enrolled in these ranked programs have earned at least some college credit. Rather than first-time college students, they are more likely to be working professionals in their 20s to 40s looking to advance in or change their careers.

Consequently, the factors U.S. News selected to make comparisons between programs were not measures like high school class rank or standardized test scores. Instead, U.S. News chose factors that weigh how these programs are being delivered and their effectiveness at awarding affordable degrees in a reasonable amount of time.

To determine the 2018 rankings, schools were evaluated on their scores for student engagement, student services and technology, faculty credentials and training, and peer reputation.

UIU offers students more than 40 majors to choose from, and all utilize a unique, flexible course schedule.  Each academic year consists of five 8-week sessions and one accelerated 6-week summer session, so Upper Iowa students typically take less classes at a time.

“We successfully serve over 3,000 degree-seeking students from around the world through distance education,” UIU Assistant Director of Admissions Colene Sassman said. “This latest recognition is not only a reflection upon our top-notch educational programming, but also the University’s expert faculty and supportive staff, who help assure our students advance their education and career while still tending to their families, employment and other day-to-day responsibilities.”

In addition to the latest by U.S. News & World Report rankings, UIU was named the Best Online College in Iowa by in October 2017 and has been repeatedly named a top Military-Friendly University by Military Advanced Education & Transition and Victory Media. In December 2017, Military Friendly named Upper Iowa a Top 10 Gold School. UIU is also recognized by Money magazine as one of the “best colleges for your money” in the United States.

Additional information about UIU online programming is available at Details of the U.S. News rankings and the survey methodology are available at

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